International Child Protection Month – September 2020
Creating ‘Circles of Safety’ in an Uncertain World.
Take action to protect and empower our kids – and ourselves!
As news stories constantly flood us with reports of tragic and frightening events, it can be hard not to become anxious. Unfortunately, worrying does not make any of us safer – it just makes all of us feel helpless.
We cannot give the children and teens in our lives a perfect world to live in. We CAN do our best to create what Kidpower likes to call ‘Circles of Safety‘ for them and for ourselves within our families, schools, and communities.
This is why Creating Circles of Safety is the theme of our 7th International Child Protection Month during September and all year ’round. We want to help you to protect the young people in your care from harm – and to empower them with knowledge and skills for taking charge of their own well-being.
During September and beyond, we look forward to joining with you to help create as many Circles of Safety in our uncertain world as we can for everyone, everywhere, especially for our kids!
Free Child Protection Resources
Actions and Resources for Creating ‘Circles of Safety’
Here are positive actions you can take and resources for you to use and share to foster Circles of Safety for the youth under your care.
Click on the titles or plus icons () to open the resource boxes below:
1) Make the Kidpower Protection Promise
The Kidpower Protection Promise grew out of our years of coaching adults to be very specific in making sure kids know they care, no matter what. Take one minute to watch this inspiring and moving Kidpower Protection Promise video. Then, print, post, share, and discuss our FREE posters.
Watch this 1 minute video to discover HOW to make the Kidpower Protection Promise
To read or download a poster of the Protection Promise, click to go to our Child Protection Steps & Actions
2) Take action to ensure safety with our Special Kindle Offer for Doing Right By Our Kids
To help you determine what needs to be done, in honor of International Child Protection Month, we are making our best-selling book, Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels, available on Kindle for just $4.99, a savings of $15.
3) "When Can I Stop Being Worried?" - Accepting Uncertainty
Many years ago, I was teaching a child protection workshop for about 100 parents after there had been a case of abuse in their community. One mother raised her hand and said plaintively, “I am so TIRED of being afraid! WHEN I can I stop being worried about the safety of my daughter?”
I smiled sympathetically and asked, ‘How old is your child?”
The mother sighed and said, “Three!”
“Oh, dear!” I replied, “Guess what? My kids are adults, and I still worry about them. And my mother is in her eighties, and she STILL worries about me!”
Everyone in the room nodded their heads with great empathy as the mother asked, “How do you BEAR it?”
It was my turn to sigh as I admitted, “Sometimes it is hard. But constantly worrying just makes us miserable and steals our joy in life without making anyone safer.”
And then I continued, “What has worked for me is to be at peace with accepting uncertainty because some things are out of our control. Doing this frees me to find joy in what is good in my life and in our world – and allows me to focus on what I CAN do to make a positive difference. The skills that we teach in Kidpower truly can protect our kids and ourselves most of the time.” The mother thanked me and then we went on with our class.
A key child protection skill is knowing what to do if a child comes to you for help. Our FREE article What to Do If A Child Reports Possible Abuse, Bullying, Harassment, or Anything Else That Bothers Them provides 7 practical steps that adults can take to support them.
4) Download the newest edition of the Kidpower 30 Skills Challenge
We have just released a FREE new online edition for September of our Kidpower 30 Skills Challenge, which provides you with skills you can practice and share right away with the young people – and adults – in your life.
5) Our Kids Need Our Hope, NOT Despair
Over and over, parents and teachers, and other caring adults tell us, “Every new tragedy in the news breaks my heart. How can I take care of my own feelings while protecting my kids?”
It is normal to have overwhelming feelings or grief in the face of news about tragedies caused by violence, natural disasters, or accidents – and we deserve support for these feelings. At the same time, we need to avoid getting immersed in despair so that we can focus on what we need to do to protect the well being of our kids and our loved ones.
When young people see their adults feeling hopeless and helpless, this can cause them tremendous panic, stress, and anxiety. How we model being powerful and resilient in the face of trouble can have a huge and positive impact on their long-term well-being.
Here are 3 ways you can get support for your feelings in the aftermath of a tragedy:
- Stay aware of what you say within earshot of kids
- Get help if you are feeling anxious or depressed
- Live your life to the fullest while taking charge of what IS under your control
. . .
>> Read the full article for more ideas about how to follow these recommendations.
Please also read and share this article with your friends, colleagues, and community: Safety Comes From Inside Ourselves: Finding Our Emotional Balance in Traumatic Times
6) Child Protection Lessons
People found the 3 Child Protection Lessons we shared during 2018 International Child Protection Month so valuable that we put them together this year for easy viewing and sharing.
These lessons are from our best-selling book Doing Right by Our Kids, which uses a “safety at all levels” approach showing how to apply Kidpower skills, strategies, and values as well as other best practices to protect young people at home, with friends and family, at school, in sports and recreational activities, at college, and from harmful social issues such as prejudice.
7) Tragic News? Help, Don't Scare!
Kids as young as six have asked us, with their adults at their side, “What if someone starts shooting people here?” We answer them, so the adult and child both experience a response that is confident and not fearful. At the same time, we are heartbroken that ANY child ever has to wonder about this. No matter how we feel inside, our job as adult leaders is to speak and act in ways that help our kids rather than scaring them. How we respond to each tragedy can affect their long-term resilience and world view. Here are three actions we can take to protect the emotional safety of our kids immediately after a tragic shooting:
1. Shield children from intense reports from media including radio, podcasts, TV, online stories, newspapers, social media – as well as from people around them.
2. Answer questions in hopeful, age-appropriate ways.
3. Give extra love and attention.
Join with other caring adults to work together to take social action that can help to prevent this kind of violence in the future!
>> Read the full article to learn more about how to follow these recommendations.
Please also read and share these 3 articles with your friends, colleagues, and community:
8) Make YOUR Own 'Safety First' Commitment
9) Boundary & Advocacy Tools To Support Your Circles of Safety
Here are 3 FREE resources to help support you in ‘Creating Circles of Safety‘ for the important people in your life.
In today’s troubled times, more than ever, all children need to know that they can turn to and trust an adult for help. Will you take a few minutes to learn about and share these 4 important steps that can make a lasting difference in a child’s life? You can join us in our goal to encourage every adult – parent, teacher, mentor, safety officer, neighbor, everyone – to make SURE that the children and teens in your life can count on you for help. We invite you to help transform the fear of bullying, violence, and abuse into a future of lifelong safety and success for today’s youth.
1. Make SURE kids KNOW you CARE!
Share and discuss the ‘Kidpower Protection Promise’ with everyone you know, kids and adults alike:
“YOU are VERY important to me. If you have a safety problem, I want to know – even if I seem too busy, even if someone we care about will be upset, even if it is embarrassing, even if you promised not to tell, and even if you made a mistake. Please tell me, and I will do everything in my power to help you!”
2. Listen. Notice. Pay Attention.
Know what to look out for:
- Listen when kids tell you about their problems.
Say, “Thank you for telling me.”
- Notice when young people or their adults seem sad, upset, or alone.
Say, “I care.”
- Pay attention to harmful behavior.
Say, “That’s not safe.”
Or, “That seems disrespectful.”
Or, “This is against our values.”
3. Reach out. Step in. Get help.
Do something to make a difference.
- Reach out by asking and listening.
Say, “What’s going on? What will help make things better?”
- When you can, step in powerfully and respectfully to stop unsafe or disrespectful behavior.
Say, “That doesn’t look safe!”
- Get help when you don’t know what to do.
4. Prepare kids with knowledge and skills
Empower young people to take charge of their safety and well being.
- Tell kids often,
“You have the right to be treated with safety and respect – and the responsibility to act safely and respectfully towards yourself and others.”
- Teach kids how to prevent and solve problems with people. Practice with them so that they know exactly what to do.
- Guide kids to uphold these values and use these skills in daily life.
1. Share the Kidpower Protection Promise & Video
It takes 1 minute to watch.
Then please share it on social media to help us get the word out.
2. Free Posters You Can Download & Print
3. Free Safety Handouts and Tips you can use
- 7 Steps to Take When a Child Asks for Help
- Kidpower Safety Tips for Parents, Teachers, Coaches, and Other Caregivers
- Fullpower Personal Safety Tips for Teens and Adults
- Safety for Kids on the Way to School Checklist
- People Safety Bill of Rights for People with Disabilities (and for Everyone, Everywhere)
- Confident Kids Posters and Teaching Guides
4. Free Skills and Coaching Guides
Use our illustrated Skills Guides and teach kids how to:
- Protect themselves from hurting words
- Stop unwanted touch
- Stay safe in public
Use our Coaching Guides:
- Kidpower’s 30-Skills Challenge Coaching Guide, available in English, Spanish, and Arabic
Download the Kidpower 30-Skills Challenge Coaching Guide free with a Professional Membership to our Kidpower Resource Library (a savings of $19.99).
- Our free Confident Kids posters and teacher’s guide are used by schools, therapists and parents worldwide.
Kidpower Coloring Books – Available in 11 languages!
5. Share the News for a free ProMembership
Share our press release and resources for International Child Protection Advocacy Month on your social media or through your media contacts to inform and inspire others.
Then, send us a link to the public social media, website post, or news article where you shared.
We will give you FREE professional membership for one year (a more than $1099USD value) to our Kidpower Online Library with hundreds of resources.
Free Child Protection Resources
Together, we can all make a difference in children’s lives!
Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International is a global nonprofit leader in child protection, positive communication, and personal safety education for more than 30 years – inviting caring adults everywhere to join families, schools, organizations, institutions, and companies in protecting and promoting the safety and well-being of young people.
If you would like to join us in furthering this exciting initiative, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.